The Philadelphia 76ers Kind Of Suck At Basketball

6 Dec

Perhaps it’s time for a different sport?  After starting off the young season by winning 3 straight games, they’ve now lost 11 of their last 13 games.  And there is no relief in sight, what with them having to player other basketball teams.  If they got to play themselves, they’d win every game, but it doesn’t really work like that.

So what the hell happened?  Frankly…reality.  Iverson is still a force on offense, but his defense has been subpar for almost two years now.  He plays the passing lanes well, but his size just isn’t conducive to playing good NBA-level defense.  He can still score as well as anyone in the league, but he seems to have lost some of the efficiency with which he shot last year.  He’s had a few clunkers thrown in there, such as his 6-19 showing against the Timberwolves.  He’s simply not taking the best shots.  He’s throwing up 3.7 three pointers a game, but is averaging only 21.2% on them.  Just ridiculous.  Still, he’s not an overall ngative.

So what else?  Chris Webber’s entire game has declined.   His biggest attribute in Sacremento was his passing and the ability to get his teammates involved.  However, with the offense not flowing through him anymore, and Father Time simply creeping up on Webber and his knees, he hasn’t been able to get into a flow with the rest of his teammates.  He’s averaging 13 shots and 10.6 points a game, both career lows, and has publicly stated being unhappy with his role.  Cheeks actually sat him for about 6 games because of lower back stiffness, and it’s unlikely that he will stay healthy the whole season.  2006 was an abberation, and it wasn’t even that good of a season for a 20 point scorer (43% for a PF is pathetic).  But, the Sixers lost without him and they are losing with him, so it’s not just him either.

So there’s more wrong with the Sixers than the big two.  Shavlike Randolph, a decent enough big man backup, is out for the season.  Kyle Korver has missed the last two games.   Sam Dalembert has been his usual unreliable, up and down self.  Steven Hunter was hurt for 5 games and has had spotty minutes when he’s been healthy.  17 minutes for Hunter is ridiculous.  He brings a lot of energy to both ends of the court, and the numbers will come in the form of rebounds and blocks if he got 25+ minutes a game.  However, Mo Cheeks has simply had some odd coaching decisions, again.  One night he plays Kevin Ollie 26 minutes…the next night he gives those minutes to a severely underused Willie Green.  Then he toys with the idea of playing youngsters Rodney Carney and Ivan McFarlin, but has actually increasingly used completely average veteran Alan Henderson.  He’ll go with Iverson, Iguodala, and Ollie all on the court at the same time, but won’t try Dalembert and Hunter together much.

About the only positive this year has been the slow emergence of Andre Iguodala.  He’s handling the ball more, getting more looks, taking more shots, and quietly becoming a possible triple-double threat (like when he scored 18, grabbed 16 boards, and collected 10 assists in a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks).  He’s certainly taken longer than some in his draft class to add a scoring touch and offensive aggression to his game, but it’s happening.  So far he has career highs in every category but shooting percentage.

Is there any hope for the Sixers season?  Not unless the Sixers become entirely healthy, all play as a unit, and Mo Cheeks suddenly becomes Red Auerbach.  So hey, it’s possible.


4 Responses to “The Philadelphia 76ers Kind Of Suck At Basketball”

  1. Jon December 6, 2006 at 1:02 am #

    How do you like Carney in the starting lineup? I think Carney and Iguodala could be the tandem of the future. You are right on about Hunter. When teamed with Dalembert, they seem to fuel off each other. Instead, Henderson was bumped up ahead of Hunter in the rotation. Mo’s gotta go!

  2. Chris December 6, 2006 at 1:04 am #

    I think Carney can only learn by playing. Riding the pine can only go so far.

  3. Jon December 6, 2006 at 1:07 am #

    Ya, that’s why Williams and Jones went down to Ft. Worth. You see what they’re doing in the D-League? Even though the players are not as good, dominating the competition will do wonders for their confidence.

  4. Spencer December 6, 2006 at 8:47 pm #

    I am a big fan and yet I have not watched a full game this season – and I don’t plan to. After last season I knew this team couldn’t compete as is and I’m correct.

    As much as I love AI, he needed to be traded for the Sixers to get any better. The reality for this team is that it is burdened by such horrible, burdensome contracts that until they get rid of them through attrition and attrition only, they will be a middle of the pack team. Add to this fact that being a middle of the pack team means that you will likely not get a top lottery pick and it means that teams that don’t manage salary well are doomed.

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